HOW time flew fast; Hari Raya (1st Syawal) was just like yesterday but the truth we are already in middle of Syawal, the 10th month of the Hegira (Hijrah) year and in a few weeks time, would be 'haji' and 'hajah' would pack their bags for their hajj journey with its peak on 10th Dzulhijjah (in about one and a half month time).
On the 1st Syawal, I took my family for our 'raya rounds' - this time I included visits to 'abodes' of the less fortunate individuals and families for example visiting the former baby sitter of my youngest daughter (at the moment) who had been blind due to complications from her diabetics condition. We also visited two aged single sisters who were down with critical diabetics and heart problem and a very poor family, perhaps their incomes were less than RM500 per month. At their homes, we spend some time listening to their problems.
An 'ustaz' during his 'ceramah' (talks) recently said it is not difficult for us to donate money and goodies to the needy and poor but only a few among us could 'eat, sleep and play' (mix around) with them. How true, because many among the rich and famous could sent 'big cheques' to the poor but were reluctant to sit and eat with them! In Malay, they said they could 'jatuh taraf' (lose standard), 'jatuh air muka' (lose water-face) and 'hilang maruah' (lose dignity).
Visiting the sick and needy whats more on Hari Raya not only bring cheerfulness and happiness to them but also provided tremendous benefits to the visitors. In my family's case, we learnt a lot about life; but first let's pause for a while reflecting 'hadiths' (saying of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.) about visiting the sick.
Umm Salama reported: "The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him (s.a.w.), said, 'When you visit a sick or dying person, then supplicate for goodness. Verily, the angels will affirm whatever you said'." (Sahih Muslim)
At-Tirmidhi narrated that 'Ali (may Allah be please with him (r.a.) said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said: 'There is no Muslims who visits a (sick) Muslim early in the morning but 70,000 'malaikat' (angels) send blessings upon him until evening comes, and if he visits him in the evening, 70,000 angels send blessings upon him until morning comes, and he will have a garden in Paradise'." - Classed sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih al-Tirmidhi.
Hadhrat Aisha (r.a.) said: "If someone fell sick, the Prophet (s.a.w.) would pass his beloved hand over the sick person saying the following prayer: 'O Allah! Lord of mankind, take away the suffering, bring about recovery, only Your cure takes away illnesses'." (Bukhari)
The whole experience of visiting the sick is full of reflection. Looking at the blind former baby sitter who was trilled to our visit made me sad especially when she hold tight to my youngest daughter who is now 14. She took care of her some 10 years ago. She too locked my wife in her arms and soon they were seen sobbing...
As the drinks kept on pouring, she 'poured out' her heart. Over the years, she was hospitalized many times including being sent from the Melaka Hospital to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital after she complained having problems regarding her sight.
She had lost her sight completely and judging from her actions I knew she depended heavily on her sense of hearing; perhaps she was very sensitive to sound; when I ignited the car engine when we were about to leave her house, she was already at window, waving us 'bye-bye'!
During our visit to the two aged sisters who were not married; they complained among others they were told by their doctors to follow a very strict regime regarding food taking. One of them who was treating herself by injecting insulin via her stomach, said the doctor in charge of her said she could not take food including vegetables as she wish but suggested to her to take 'terung' (brinjal or egg plant) as often as she could.
"Yesterday it was 'terung', today it is 'terung', tomorrow would be 'terung'...how long could I stand this..."she cried but made us burst into laughter. I joked...why not today eat 'terung goreng' (fried brinjals), tomorrow 'terung rebus' (boiled brinjals) and tomorrow 'steamed brinjals'!
After the visits, I had an urge to 'lecture' my boys and girls about the importance of taking care of our heath but I choose not to do so in order not to spoil their 'raya' mood.
Yes dear readers, I wanted to say that only through illness can we truly appreciate good heath from Allah SWT. But looking at the trend of the young generation including my own children, their way of life frightened me. They love fast food and not to mention about canned and bottled drinks.
They too stored the family fridge with packets and packets of 'modern day food' such chicken nuggets, burgers and fried potatoes. Every time they feel they need extra food, they cooked their own food sometimes even though it was already past midnight!
Sickness is a means of cleansing from Allah SWT as well a test from Him. To some people, Allah SWT delayed their death even they were on their 'sick bed' for years. But the fact is that, life is too short; at the end, all of us (either we were down with illness or not) would be sent to our final resting place that is the grave.
Life ends in death, so have we not learnt something from it? Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said life is like that of a man on horseback who stops under the shade of a tree for a while and then leaves it.
Other than material support, those unlucky individuals and families (the sick and the have not) too had to be guided to the truth path because Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was concerned not only life in this world but also life in the Hereafter. Many sick people I noticed did not bother to perform their duties as Muslims such as praying five times daily. They did not know that they could performed it according to their capabilities such as doing 'solat' (prayers) in sitting or lying position.
All Muslims are as one body. If a man complains of pain in his head, his whole body feels the pain, and if his eye pains his whole body feels the pain. All Muslims are like the component parts of a foundation, each strengthening the other, in such a way that they support each other.
Muslims are as one body...but in real life do we practice it? We (I included) rarely visit the sick...only once in a while (in the blue moon) such as during 'hari raya' we do pay them a visit. Then there are Muslims who made it hard for their brothers such as involving in back stabbing and breaking relations.
Muslims are brothers in religion and they must not oppress one another, nor abandon assisting each other, nor hold one another in contempt. The seat of righteousness is the heart; therefore that heart which is righteous does not hold a Muslim in contempt; and all the things of one Muslim are unlawful to another; his blood, property and reputation.
The creation is as God’s family; for its sustenance is from Him; therefore the most beloved to God is the person who does good to God’s family.
No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. When two Muslims meet, they shake hands, praise Allah and seek forgiveness of Him, both are forgiven.
Assist your brother Muslim, whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed. “But how shall we do it when he is an oppressor?” Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “Assisting an oppressor is by for forbidding and restraining him from oppression.”
When three persons are together, two of them must not whisper to each other without letting the third hear, because it would hurt him. Verily, each of you is a mirror to his brother; then if he sees a vice in his brother he must advise him to get rid of it.
Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: “Let none of you point at his brother with an implement for he knows not when Satan might make him lose his hold on it thereby injuring his brother.”
Anas ibn Malik relates that the Holy Prophet said: “Do not entertain mutual enmity, envy and anger, and live like brothers, being equally the bondmen of Allah, and it is not lawful for a Muslim that he should avoid his brother Muslim for more than three days.”
Isn’t that a real beauty of Islam? Truly, Allah has made Islam a perfect religion, as a guidance for human being to live in a perfect happy life in this word and Hereafter; the Qur’an says: “Allah desireth for you ease, He desireth not hardship for you.” (2:185) - ES